Question on BCS

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texanstraders

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I realize BCS has a "little" subjectivity, but I am trying to be more accurate in my evaluations. Would I be correct in rating this one a "4" ? She has finished weaning a calf and I am continuing to give her extra feed along with the hay to get her a little more plump so she can be re-bred. What do ya'll think.
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novaman

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I can't comment with any certainty on her BCS as I am not as familiar with the beef scale, dairy is only 1-5, but I would say your close judging from the picture you've got posted. It's tough to judge with pictures though. I like to walk around the animal and sometimes even touch the animal to judge the amount of fat along the back. Just out of curiousity, if she just weaned a calf, why isn't she already rebred? In my opinion a cow that can't keep fair condition AND get rebred to calve at a 365 day interval isn't an animal I would keep on the place. Doesn't do much good to produce one calf every two years, even if it's a monster.
 
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texanstraders

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She SHOULD be re-bred. I will have the vet out in the next 2 weeks for a check. She has been with the bull for about 3 months and I have not seen any heats in a while now.
 

Diehard40

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No way would i classify her as a 5 or 6
i think a 4 is a fairly accurate score
no ribs are visable which is good, but no fat visible either
hooks and pins are bothe pretty prominant, would like to see more fat around the pins.
a few more groceries wouldn't hurt
 

dun

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xbred":2cn42jv0 said:
aren't ribs to be visible on a score 4 cow?

You would have to be able to put hands on her to feel the ribs with all that winter hair.
 

alacattleman

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looks like a 4 but what i not a fan of is having too pour the feed to em to get em back into breeding shape.... any profit you make on the weaned calf is spent puttin' weight back on her. that could turn into a continuos cycle.. let her put it back on herself and she should be in breeding condition by may for a spring calving season
 
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texanstraders

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She's one of my new girls . Got her just a year ago as a bred cow. She has really good lineage. Her calf was outstanding. She made good milk. Just doesn't seem to have really put on good weight. I wormed her in the fall with Ivomec pour on and like everywhere in Texas, we had no rain during that time, so the worming was good. She just has done "as well" as my other girls. She's got a good apetite . They have all the hay they want. Its not a 17% hay, but its good. There is a protein tub in the barn that she has access to. (none seem to like it or want it ? its been in the barn 2 weeks now, hardly touched)...
 

alacattleman

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texanstraders":3rlq5dqq said:
She's one of my new girls . Got her just a year ago as a bred cow. She has really good lineage. Her calf was outstanding. She made good milk. Just doesn't seem to have really put on good weight. I wormed her in the fall with Ivomec pour on and like everywhere in Texas, we had no rain during that time, so the worming was good. She just has done "as well" as my other girls. She's got a good apetite . They have all the hay they want. Its not a 17% hay, but its good. There is a protein tub in the barn that she has access to. (none seem to like it or want it ? its been in the barn 2 weeks now, hardly touched)...
the hay must be good quailty ... are they would wear that tub out... their getting what they need from the hay.. id give her another chance then to shape up.
 

IluvABbeef

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A lot can be hidden by the amount of hair on her, plus not much can be told by just looking at a picture of her.

IMO, I'd put her at a BCS of 3.5. She looks slightly thinner than a 4, and much thinner than 5 or 6.
 

Cowdirt

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IluvABbeef":29sf2qo4 said:
A lot can be hidden by the amount of hair on her, plus not much can be told by just looking at a picture of her.

IMO, I'd put her at a BCS of 3.5. She looks slightly thinner than a 4, and much thinner than 5 or 6.

luvabeef, I'm with you. That was my first impression from the photo. That being said, until recently I've never used the quantifying system. Just "she's pretty thin" or "shes pretty fat". I realize the BCS system is of much more value in any kind of discussion on the matter of condition.
 
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texanstraders

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So, if I am thinking correct, I would want to up her cubes because she can convert that to fat quicker than the hay ? Say 8 -10 lbs of cubes along with the hay ?
 

IluvABbeef

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Well, I'd say she needs grain, the best hay possible (legume -grass mix), cubes, and free-choice mineral. Grain'll put more weight on her pretty quick, probably a little quicker than cubes. I'd say 3 gallons of grain per day (half a 5 gallon pail), and yea I'd say 10 lb of cubes. Some may not agree with me, but it sounds about right to me.
 

KNERSIE

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IMO, I'd put her at a BCS of 3.5.

I agree, muscle degeneration is pretty evident (look over her loin), I can clearly count 4 ribs from underneath the wintercoat.

I'd deworm her again using an injectable or a broad spectrum oral drench, if you are in an area where there might be flukes or bought her from an area where she might not previously have been exposed to flukes and is now or vice versa I'll repeat the treatment after 72 hours.

If she doesn't look like a different cow in 10 days time she simply is a hard keeper.
 
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texanstraders

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I don't think flukes are an issue here in North Texas right now. Based on what I have read, we have not had weather that would be conducive to development of flukes in the last 12 months. I have alkaline soil and we ONLY give fresh water (Actually city water from the main water line that is treated)
I don't see an issue with worming her a little early and I guess I can use a pour on later in the spring.
 

alacattleman

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texanstraders":26w7b89l said:
I don't think flukes are an issue here in North Texas right now. Based on what I have read, we have not had weather that would be conducive to development of flukes in the last 12 months. I have alkaline soil and we ONLY give fresh water (Actually city water from the main water line that is treated)
I don't see an issue with worming her a little early and I guess I can use a pour on later in the spring.
i would'nt think so either as dry as its been there....if you worm her early...best to worm her again with the rest later when the pastures are coming on are she will reload later
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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I agree with the 3.5 to 4 BCS.
But, lets go back to the breeding issue. How old was the calf you say you just weaned??
By right, she should have been bred when the calf was 2-3 months old. You're saying you weaned the calf & she's been with a bull 2 weeks?? Unless, she did not fit your calving "season", a cow should be 4 months pregnant by the time she weans her calf.
3 GALLONS OF GRAIN!!!! :shock: Let's get real. Holy moly - noone can afford to feed cows like that!
Now that her calf is weaned, she should put weight on without ANY GRAIN (even a normal cow that is pregnant 4-5 months along). If not, she's not worth keeping around. Especially, if she is just now getting bred. She has TONS of time to put weight on before calving.
I may pamper a 1st or 2nd calf heifer that gets thin, by weaning her calf a month early - but in the real world you cannot grain them.
Do you normally let your cows calve every 16 months?
 

KNERSIE

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i would'nt think so either as dry as its been there

That's where you make the mistake, flukes are always a big problem in a drought especially when ponds start drying up, effectively increasing the always present concentration of flukes because of less water volume.

The symptoms also don't always show themselves immediately, but when the cow get stressed the will really wear her down. The symptoms usually show themselves at the change of seasons, often shortly after the calves have been weaned.

I'm not saying it is flukes, but the owner need to try and identify the cause of the poor condition and rectify it if possible, if not possible he's better off without her.
 

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